The Richardson Racing team enjoyed a winning end to the Ginetta Junior Championship season as the curtain came down on the 2018 campaign at Brands Hatch.
The Corby-based team headed for the Kent circuit with designs on the championship title with Luke Browning, whilst team-mates James Taylor, Will Martin and Emily Linscott were all hoping to end their seasons on a high.
Luke was the best placed of the quartet in qualifying in fourth spot, with James in seventh, Will 17th and Emily 19th ahead of the opening race.
Aware of the need to push for victories to maintain his championship challenge, Luke put in a fine drive in race one to secure his eighth victory for the year, battling ahead of rival Adam Smalley after an early safety car period.
Unfortunately for the team, that safety car was as a result of incident that saw Will forced off into the barriers after being collected by a spinning car, putting him into retirement. James meanwhile crossed the line in tenth spot, with Emily working her way forwards to 16th.
The second race of the weekend would see Luke run at the sharp end throughout, and he looked good for at least a podium finish until he was run wide as he went three abreast into Sheene Curve and then had to jump on the brakes when James Hedley spun in front of him.
Despite that, he still picked up a fourth place finish to keep his title hopes alive, with James following him home in fifth after a solid run in the midfield. Putting the disappointment of race one behind him, Will enjoyed one of his best races of the campaign to come from 17thon the grid to ninth, with Emily continuing to make up places in 13th.
Aware that he had to win the season finale to stand any chance of the title, Luke battled hard with Louis Foster throughout the ten lap encounter with the pair swapping positions multiple times before Foster eventually came out on top. Second place still gave Luke an impressive 18 podiums for the season.
James finished his rookie season just off the overall podium in fourth place, with Will once again taking ninth spot having recovered well from being shuffled back down the order early on. Emily meanwhile battled hard on track after early contact affected her handling to end the year with a 16th place finish.
Will Martin, #10 (Battle, East Sussex), said
“It’s been a brilliant weekend. The shunt in race one was one of those things that happens, so I was so pleased to come through to P9 in race two. To then repeat it in race three having dropped to 15th was amazing. I needed some good results after the accident I had at Silverstone and I certainly got them.
“The first half of the season was okay, but because we were running the car ourselves it was tough. When I joined the team, I think I’ve been able to make a huge amount of progress and have learned absolutely loads. It’s been brilliant to work with them and I’ve love to be back.”
James Taylor, #66 (Rotherham, Yorkshire), said
“It was a tough start to the weekend with the opening race. The racing was hard in the pack and I made a few mistakes but we came back from it. The second race was better and whilst it was unfortunate that we had some contact during it, we came away with a decent top six finish.
“The final race was spot on and I could have had a podium finish but I’m happy with P4. For my first season, I think I’ve come on a lot throughout the year and am happy to have ended up with some overall podiums to my name. Hopefully I can push on from what we have achieved this year in 2019."
Luke Browning, #11 (Kingsley, Cheshire), said
“I knew coming to Brands Hatch that it would be a big ask to win the title but I gave it my all on track and it’s good that we were able to get another victory, even if it wasn’t enough in the end.
“This has been such a competitive season at the front of the grid and we have put up a good challenge, but being quick isn’t always enough and you need to have luck on your side. We haven’t always had that luck, but I can come away from the season knowing that I’ve learned a lot and that I’ve improved a lot as a driver.
“We’ve put up a good fight and a big thank you to the team for their work throughout the season.”
Emily Linscott, #99 (Langdon Hills, Essex), said
“It’s been a tough but enjoyable weekend to end the season. You know it is never going to be easy in Ginetta Juniors and that’s how it was this weekend; I got caught up in a few little things on track that affected my results but I’ve had fun at the same time.
“This year has been a huge learning curve for me and I’ve enjoyed it all, even when we’ve had some lows along the way. When that has been the case, the support from my fans has been fantastic and I have to thank my parents, my sponsors and the team for this season.
“We might not have got the end result we wanted from the year but I’ve learned a huge amount this season and I hope to be able to build on it in 2019.”